All Go @ Top Dog

Not posted for a while – so just a quick update 

Where to start ??

Well we have run 2 x super successful cycling sportives thus far –

Yorkshire Dales 60 and 30 mile loops in April – a grand day out was enjoyed by all

Our annual big day in the saddle – Lake District 108 miler – a lot of effort went into making this day the roaring success it was – so thanks to everyone involved

The next sportive on our calendar is in a few weeks – Forest of Bowland is all organized  and good to go – with rider numbers looking very encouraging

After this we will focus on our only running event this year – Leighton Hall Picnic trail runs in September and our final 2019 sportive – Lake District 60 and 30 mile loops in October

We have several great runs in the Lancaster area in the pipeline – but await news about the Luneside cycle path closing for 18 x months – which will scupper the routes big time – watch this space !

Finally we are super excited about plans for the 2020 season – with the possibility of a 60+ mile North Lakes sportive as part of a brand new “Festival of Cycling” weekend @ Lowther Castle as well as a programme of guided rides and runs throughout the Lakes and Dales

So its all go here – thanks for your continued interest and support – and we hope you’ll join us for an adventure v soon

Chris, Lynn and all @

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Picnic Trail Runs @ Leighton Hall dates announced

Come and join us for a run around this amazing area on 8 September 2019

Leighton hall
Leighton Hall – what a place for a run

Stretch your legs on either a 5 mile or 5 km well signed trail run through the limestone scenery of this little visited Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty in NW England

Then relax in the grounds and gardens with your friends and family with the picnic you brought or visit the well stocked tea rooms – while enjoying some stonking 80’s music

Book your places today –

See you there

Chris, Lynn and team @

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2019 Trail runs

trail running ideas

Now that our cycling events are sorted for the year ahead – we are turning our attention to trail runs

We are busily putting plans for several trail running events together for the year – this involves seeking permission from landowners en route before we can set dates

A couple of half marathons are looking good – while a 10km and 5km “picnic run” @ Leighton Hall is pencilled in for 15 September

Please keep an eye on our Facebook page as well as this website for full details and a chance to enter or help out these new events

Best regards

Chris, Lynn and team @

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Cycling Events for 2019

top dog events race number

We are pleased to have all our 2019 cycle sportives arranged now – they are …..

  • 28 April – Yorkshire Dales 60 and 30 milers
  •  9 June – Annual 100+ mile epic – Lake District
  • 18 August – Forest of Bowland 60 and 30 milers
  • 20 October – Lake District 60 and 30 milers

We hope you can join us to ride or help us out on one or more of these great events – and are now cracking on with finalising plans for trail runs of various distances

Best regards

Chris, Lynn and team @

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Wow – what a year that was !!

Gosh – it seems like only yesterday that we decided to try our hand at organising some events in the areas we know and love so well.

It was, in fact, exactly 12 months ago – while reviewing 2017 and looking ahead to 2018 – we had a good year with our outdoor adventure business Door 2 Door Adventures but wanted to have more control over our work / life balance.

Instead of constantly waiting and hoping someone would want us to organise a bespoke adventure day for them – we wanted to plan ahead and decide when events would be and work together with friends to make them happen.

We achieved this and can now look back on an amazing year which we –

  • started Top Dog Events Limited
  • set up 3 x 100 mile sportives
  • helped facilitate a run as part of a local gala
  • organised our initial trail running event
  • made some amazing new friends
  • cancelled a sportive due to rider safety concerns
  • became a bona fide events company

We got some great feedback from participants and helpers in our first years events and have learnt sooooo very much – thank you all 🙂

We are putting the lessons into action by planning 3 x shorter sportives, with an annual 100+ mile classic ride – cheaper entry fees along with, optional extras to purchase like medals, photos and clothing, as well as a series of trail runs of various distances.

So grab your place on an event or two in our January sale, get out training and we look forward to meeting you in 2019.

Chris, Lynn and team @

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Next season ……

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After a planning meeting we have made the following decisions ……..

  • 3 x Shorter sportives – 60 and 30 miles – Lakes, Dales and Bowland
  • Later starts – 10 / 11 am
  • 1 x Epic sportive a year – 100 miler only – in Lakes next year
  • Cheaper entry fees
  • No medals – we have about 170 left over @ £5 each to dispose of !!
  • More trail runs
  • Several running challenges – Yorkshire 3 x Peaks and Yorkshire “Twin Peaks”
  • Organising running and cycling weekends / holidays

We are getting our mojo back after having to cancel our Bowland event – due to hideous weather and look forward to sharing our favourite places to run and riding with you all next year

Chris, Lynn and team @

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Post run review – Leighton Hall “Try a Trail” run

leighton hall try a trail event

Thanks to all all involved in this great day 🙂

It was a pleasure to see so many happy folk gathered together and made the days of planning – meetings – checking and admin well worthwhile

Here are peoples times – please remember that these events are not races and it takes longer to run off road routes than it would on tarmac – its not so much who got round fastest but who had most fun doing it !!

For your information only – ( in order of event numbers worn )

5 x Miles

1 – Stuart Nevin – 47.46

2 – Paul Gregory – 41.09

3 – Emily Japp – 49.41

4 – Phil Lakeland – 52.59

5 – Gary James – 56.25

6 – Phil James – 50.15

7 – Stephen Perry – 50.41

8 – John Street – 1hr 01.58

9 – Rhiannon Page – 58.22

10 – Jayne McCarten – 1hr 18.33

11 – Rhiannon Tinson – 1hr 18.33

12 – Carl Richardson – 52.05

14 – Kelly Seward – 53.00

15 – Craig Kirsy – 58.53

16 – Emma Read – 1hr 10.34

5 x KM

101 – Andrew Simm – 28.33

102 – Danielle Bowker – 44.30

103  – Amelia Thompson – 31.30

104 – Kelly Baird – 43.32

105 – Sophie Kirby – 43.32

106 – Gill Hayes – 44.15

107 – Kathryn Ward – 44.15

 * Please excuse any spelling mistakes – all names taken off entry forms which runners filled in *

Thanks again for taking part – please spread the word about what we are doing and watch out for more of the same in 2019 🙂

Happy “slow running”

Chris, Lynn and co @

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Ready to Rumble

Leighton hallRoll on Sunday

We are all set to go ahead with our initial “Try a Trail” running event at the fantastic Leighton Hall in Lancashire

Runs will start at 1000 hrs on Sunday 30 September 2018 and a choice of either 5 x miles or 5 KM are offered

Both routes pass over a host of different terrains from narrow trails, woodland paths, open fields and Limestone pavements – a real mix of what running off road is all about

Our aim is to organise a series of such events in the area next year – with the aim of promoting “slow running” to stressed out road runners and racers

This is in no way a reflection on running speed though – more a simple awareness of the surrounds and special places we can run outdoors in – when the view is more important than a medal and seeing a deer is better than a PB

We hope you will join us for a celebration of running in special places as a runner, helper or spectator

Chris and Lynn @

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Who would be an events organiser ??

After  a week spent setting up our latest cycling event – including 2 whole days and some 260 miles of driving round the routes twice attaching some 300 odd arrows to every signpost on or near each junction along the way and getting ready to do it once more to to erect the large warning signs for motorists – while all the time keeping an eye on the weekends forecast – i had a horrendous decision to make yesterday

Each days check of both the BBC and the excellent Mountain Weather Information Service forecast brought little joy – and after a sleepless thursday night spent worrying about hypothermic riders shivering out on the wild Bowland fells – waiting for our broom wagons,  I checked once again first thing Friday morning and found several horrendous forecasts for Sunday 16th September – predicting heavy rainfall all day throughout the area of our sportive

Our plan for Friday was for Chris to go round the routes once more erecting the warning signs while Lynn would purchase lots of snacks and fruit for the feedstations and muffins for the finish line

I felt compelled to make a decision whether we could risk riders safety by going ahead   as planned regardless of weather conditions – call the event off and give entrants a couple of days notice or go ahead as planned and see if weather improved by Sunday – then go ahead or cancel on the morning after folk had travelled to Lancaster

I have never had to make such a decision – I lead a lot of outdoor  activities and would wrap folk in layers of waterproofs and chose a low level / shorter route  faced with a similar situation or go out another day – neither options were available – so I completed one of the risk assessments we use prior to every adventure activity {see photo) and got a score of 64 out of 68 – using the information available first thing Friday morning – which is an unacceptable level of risk  so took the heartbreaking decision to call the event off – as I could not stand up in court to justify running it with knowledge I had to hand

So Friday morning was actually spent personally e mailing each and every entrant to tell them of my decision and offering them a place in a future event instead – standing down our team of fantastic helpers and informing British Cycling and asking them to put “cancelled” on the online entry system

So its now Saturday afternoon – all signs were taken down in a long day yesterday – the weather forecasts don t look quite so terrible and we all feel sick and worried that we or rather I made the wrong choice and disappointed a lot of good people – and maybe some people will still turn up in the morning due to not getting the information or expecting to enter on the day

So who would be an event organizer ?? well me actually – because at the end of the day its just a bike ride (all be it an amazing one) and nobody’s life will be at risk  tomorrow – nor will I have to stand up court to explain why I let an event take place after getting the highest risk assessment score  ever

So I am happy that I have done my job as both event organizer and safety officer and am more than grateful for the kind messages of support from both riders and Top Dog Team members I have received – and most especially Lynn who has taken a weeks annual leave this week (as she has for the last 2 x events) to help me set up the day – only to take it all apart again !!

We will learn from the experience though and are thinking about much improved sportives next season – and hope to see old and new friends there to share these stunning rides

Sorry folks ……..

Chris Packman @

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Good to go

forest of bowland 100

All good to go for this Sunday’s Forest of Bowland adventure – planning done, marshals booked and briefed, medals bought, maps printed and snacks ordered

Next 3 x days will see us putting out some 300 odd yellow arrows to mark both routes and stressing that nobody moves them again !! ( we drive round to check early Sunday morning)

But we have worked tirelessly to make this event happen and can do no more – just hoping that more riders will come along and make it all worthwhile

See you Sunday

Chris, Lynn and Team @

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